How to Raise an Inquisitive Infant
What is Curiosity?
Put simply, curiosity is the desire to learn. It is an eagerness to explore, discover and figure things out. It is something that everyone is born with—babies are born with a natural curiosity to figure out how the world works.
This is why we often hear of parents who get annoyed at their kids when they ask a hundred and one questions each day. “What does this word mean?” “What colour will I get when I mix red and blue together?” are among some of the questions that parents get every day!
When children are put down for asking questions, they will feel discouraged and may be less likely to be curious about matters in the future. The truth is, everyone will benefit when we encourage curiosity!
While curiosity does not directly translate to great result slips and report cards, one’s love of learning can help to boost grades. More importantly, curiosity goes way beyond school and can be helpful throughout one’s life!
However, what is the best way we can get our infants to grow up to be curious and inquisitive children and adults? It is best that parents start to encourage their children to be lifelong learners at a young age. Today, we will learn some tips that can help to fuel your infant’s love of learning.
Tip # 1: Mirror your infant’s reactions
Babies and infants often find anything and everything to be fascinating. Oftentimes, sand, blocks, slime, or even just some flour can keep them occupied for hours. You can build on this natural fascination by mirroring your infant’s reactions to things around them!
For example, if your baby is amazed at a passing car, mirror that enthusiasm by asking several questions such as “Look at that car! What colour is it?” or “I wonder how many wheels the car has!”. The key is to ask questions that will encourage both of you to notice details such as colours, numbers, or shapes.
By mirroring your infant’s reactions, you are sharing their wonder at the world, which in turn inspires and encourages your child to ask question and spark their curiosity! A good tip is to imagine that you are seeing everything for the first time!
Tip # 2: Be a role model
Building on tip # 1, in addition to mirroring your infant’s reactions and being open to your wonder and fascination with the world, you should also be your infant’s role model in the learning process.
This means that you should behave the way you want your child to behave! When you are curious about something or come across a word that you do not know the meaning of, instead off saying “Hey Google, what does XXX mean?”, try to figure out the answers without the help of Google.
When your infant sees that you are taking steps to “solve a mystery”, he or she is more likely to do so in the future instead of taking the easy way out all the time!
Tip # 3: Be flexible
When your infant is playing or learning, it is essential that they are allowed to explore their interests. They should be allowed to try new things, fail, and try again. Instead of putting forth the idea that there is one “right” way to do things, be an explorer with your kid and let them teach you along the way.
If your infant is unsure about something, ask them questions like “What do you think?”. Asking questions is a great way to fuel your infant’s curiosity because it helps them to brainstorm about what they want to do next or what they want to learn and find out!
On the other hand, you should not blindly provide answers to your child! Allow them to problem solve, think critically, and come up with solutions on their own. This way, you may even be surprised at the creative insights that your child may be able to teach you!
Tip # 4: Watch the way you speak
How we speak to our children has a powerful influence on his or her curiosity and learning. It will determine whether or not your child will continue to explore something that interests them!
To ignite curiosity, use encouraging and open-ended words and phrases like:
- What do you think?
- I notice that you…
- I wonder what would happen if you…?
- Why do you think so?
Babies are born natural learners who are curious about the world around them. Instead of putting them down for being curious, encourage their learning and inquisitiveness with the tips that were mentioned in this article! Above all, always stay curious!
For parents living in the Tampines, Genesis Childcare has had 30 years of experience in caring for your beloved children.
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